Most of the preparations for leaving Japan are in order. Lists checked two, three and four times tell me there’s little need for scrambling, running here and there, or fretting. So why do I feel this anxiety? Why do I pace the rooms looking into corners again, opening closet doors to verify they are empty? In truth, if the small details outside my control (utility companies) were completed tomorrow, I could leave the day after, certain that every last piece was in place.
More likely than anything else, I am probably apprehensive about leaving behind the lifestyle that is both familiar and comfortable. I ponder those small things, the unremarked customs and routines that fill scant space when talked about, the prosaic movements of my days in Japan—it is the absence of those things that will most wring the locus of my feelings. It’s often said that retirement causes a similar lopsidedness. A familiar cycle ends and the uprooting of established custom and activity leaves one uncertain.
Nights, in the time before falling asleep I ask myself what retiring PLUS moving 10,000 miles, one on top the other will be like. These thoughts perhaps lie at the root of my pacing from one empty room to another counting boxes.
The two photos here are of the restaurant, Kin no saru. Dinner there tonight—another goodbye—with one of the gentlest of souls I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with these past many years. Fuyuo-san is someone I will miss, though I entertain the hope that we may have an opportunity to meet again in the future. He is a great traveler, and was in the US two or three times last year, once very near where I will be in Florida. We are late getting together because until a few days ago, Fuyuo-san was visiting a native tribe in the jungle of Ecuador. (Before that it was survival training in the Arizona desert.) Interesting man and a good friend.